Monthly Archives: June 2013

Excerpt from “Sheilas, wogs & poofters” by Johnny Warren ~~Qualification~~

picture-SheilasWogsPoofters-WarrenSheilas, wogs & poofters is really a story of my time in soccer in this country … I hope the title doesn’t offend anyone – it’s not meant to. And if it does offend in 21st century Australia then you can imagine what it was like fifty-odd years ago. ‘Sheilas’, ‘wogs’ and ‘poofters’ were considered the second-class citizens of the day and if you played soccer, you were considered one of them. That’s how soccer was regarded back then and, to some extent, still is today.’

 

 

South Korea had already eliminated Israel and Japan to get to the final qualification stage so we knew they were a team in good form. They were going to be a handful in any circumstances but given our lead-up to the match, they were only going to be tougher. The eventual 0–0 scoreline probably flattered us but was also not really unexpected given our disjointed preparation. Our team lacked its usual aggression and fire. The crowd of thirty-two thousand at the Sydney Sports Ground was no doubt as disappointed as we were and it was a classic case of the Australian team not being able to perform at home in big matches.

The Koreans had decided to man-to-man mark me in that match and I barely touched the ball. My opponent was only a little guy but he didn’t leave me for the entire match. I thought he was even going to follow me into the change rooms at half-time! I absolutely hated being marked that tightly because it always made playing difficult. As a player, it meant you were never in any space and there was always added pressure on your first touch. I took being man-marked as a sign of respect but I never enjoyed it. My own performance and the result meant it wasn’t a match I remember with any fondness but I’m sure the pay dispute had a lot to do with our average performance. It meant that we would have our work cut out for us in Seoul if we wanted to see the fruits of our labour in our qualification quest up until now.

Just how much work we had in front of us became strikingly apparent when we were 2–0 down during the first half of the second leg in Seoul. I was confident the team had regained its focus during the week between the two matches but the South Koreans absolutely massacred us in the opening stages. The home crowd was going berserk and the Korean players were feeding off the excitement. They were probably already planning their World Cup finals campaign after scoring the second goal. Luckily for us Branko Buljevic scored a goal for us almost immediately after South Korea scored their second goal. Needless to say, our goal changed the entire complexion of the match. It suddenly gave us some confidence and took a bit of the heat out of the home crowd.

It was a brilliant feeling when Ray Baartz scored the equaliser in the second half. We had come back from the dead and I don’t think the crowd could quite believe it when we held on to secure a 2–2 draw. Unfortunately, in those days, away goals did not count as double, like they do today. Otherwise, Australia would have qualified on the away-goals rule, which means if scores are level after both games, away goals count as double.

The draw in Seoul meant another match needed to be played at a neutral venue and so the decider was played in Hong Kong. Although it didn’t have the drama of the second-leg rollercoaster ride the team played really well. Our 1–0 victory was secured by a wonderful goal from little midfield dynamo Jimmy Mackay. It was an absolute cracker that flew straight into the top corner of the goal and I’m sure it probably even disturbed a few spiders that had been living there quite peacefully. The goal probably should be more recognised in Australian soccer because it was the one that put the nation into its first and only World Cup.

Amid the jubilation there was a sense of disbelief among the team after the match. After all our struggles it was hard to believe that we had actually made the finals. For me it meant that the ghosts of 1970 had finally been laid to rest and my own personal struggle to recover from my knee injury had not been in vain. We were going to West Germany!

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Excerpt from “The Hundred and One Dalmatians” by Dodie Smith ~~Cruella de Vil~~

picture-101Dalmatians-Smith‘Ladies and gentlemen,’ she said, dramatically, ‘puppies are arriving earlier than expected. Mr and Mrs Dearly ask you to remember that Missis has never before been a mother. She needs absolute quiet.’

There was an instant silence, broken only by a stifled sneeze. Then the guests rose, drank a whispered toast to the young mother, and tiptoed from the house.

All except Cruella de Vil. When she reached the hall she went straight to Nanny Butler, who was seeing the guests out, and demanded:

‘Where are those puppies?’

Nanny Butler had no intention of telling, but Cruella heard the Dearly voices’ and ran upstairs. This time she was wearing a black satin dress with ropes of pearls, but the same absolutely simple white mink cloak. She had kept it round her all through dinner, although the room was very warm (and the pepper very hot).

‘I must, I must see the darling puppies,’ she cried.

The cupboard door was a little open. The Dearlys were inside, soothing Missus. Three puppies had been born before Nanny Butler, on bringing Missus a nourishing chicken dinner, had discovered what was happening.

Cruella flung open the door and stared down at the three puppies.

‘But they’re mongrels – all white, no spots at all!’ she cried. ‘You must drown them at once.’

‘Dalmatians are always born white,’ said Mrs Dearly, glaring at Cruella. ‘The spots come later.’

‘And we wouldn’t drown them even if they were mongrels,’ said Mrs Dearly, indignantly.

‘It’d be quite easy,’ said Cruella. ‘I’ve drowned dozens of my cat’s kittens. She always chooses some wretched alley-cat for their father so they’re never worth keeping.

‘Surely you leave her one kitten?’ said Mrs Dearly.

‘If I’d done that, I’d be overrun with cats,’ said Cruella.

‘Are you sure those horrid little white rats are pure Dalmatian puppies?’

‘Quite sure,’ snapped Mrs Dearly. ‘Now please go away, you’re upsetting Missus.’

And indeed Missus was upset. Even with the Dearlys there to protect her and her puppies, she was a little afraid of this tall woman with black-and-white hair who stared so hard. And that poor cat who had lost all her kittens! Never, Never, would Missus forget that! (And one day she was to be glad she remembered it.)

‘How long will it be before the puppies are old enough to leave their mother?’ asked Cruella. ‘In case I want to buy some.’

‘Seven or eight weeks,’ said Mr Dearly. ‘But there won’t be any for sale.’ Then he shut the cupboard door in Cruella’s face and Nanny Butler firmly showed her out of the house.

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Excerpt from “Tom Petrie’s Reminiscences of Early Queensland” by Constance Campbell Petrie ~~Tracking~~

picture-ReminiscencesEarlyQld-PetrieThe aboriginals used to possess really wonderful tracking powers. Some people have the idea that they could track by means of a sense of smell, but that was not so; what really helped them was their marvellous eyesight. Father had been with them while they followed a wounded kangaroo, which had previously got away with a spear in his body. They followed the track for nearly a quarter of a mile, just walking along and pointing out to the white boy as they went a spot of blood on a blade of grass here and there, which he could hardly see, and at other times a track in the grass which he could not see at all.

They went on thus till they came to a large flat rock on the side of a ridge, and here they went down on their knees and commenced to blow on the rock. Father asked what they did that for? “We want to see which way that fellow go ‘cross.” At last they called to him to look, and said, “That fellow been go over here.” The white boy looked, and saw, when they blew on the rock, tiny loosened particles of moss moving. Evidently as the kangaroo passed that way his feet displaced the minute leaves of the moss. They had not much further to go before they came to the animal, lying dead with the spear through the body.

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Excerpt from “Left For Dead” by Pete Nelson ~~12 Minutes~~

picture-LeftForDead-NelsonCaptain McVay was walking upright on the side of his ship as the bow went under, and a wave of water came and washed him into the sea. He swam. He watched as the fantail rose 200 feet in the air. He saw his men jump, and he watched them fall to their deaths. A man falling 100 feet into water might as well be landing on concrete. The Indianapolis paused a moment, then slipped into the sea, straight down, picking up speed, with another two miles to fall before she reached the bottom. Men covered in fuel oil wiped their eyes to look for their ship, but there wasn’t a ship anymore. They kept looking , but there was only the darkness, the black sky and the endless sea.

It took only twelve minutes. Shorter than halftime at a football game, but enough time to kill about 300 men and put the rest in the water, roughly 880 men scattered 600 miles west of Guam, 550 miles east of Leyte and 250 miles north of the Palau Islands, the closest land.

Twelve minutes.

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Excerpt from “The Munsters and the Great Camera Caper” by William Johnston ~~Visitor~~

picture-Munsters-GreatCameraCaperFrom different hiding places inside, the Munsters peered anxiously at the strange figure in front of their home. Peeking out through twin peepholes in the petrified oak door were Herman and Lily Munster, man and wife – Herman, who was often mistaken by outsiders for a modern model of Frankenstein’s monster, and Lily, whose jet-black hair set off a face strikingly un-lifelike in its paleness.

“Look at him! Look at that tan!” whispered Herman. “He must live in the sun!” He shuddered at the thought.

“And look at that nose – straight as a pin!” hissed Lily. “There’s no excuse for that. A good plastic surgeon could build up a hump on it in a jiffy.”

In his cellar workshop, squinting into the eye-piece of a periscope, Grandpa Munster spoke in a quivering whisper to his pet bat, Igor. Grandpa Munster, who at any given moment might bear a striking resemblance to either Genghis Khan, Jack the Ripper, or Mr. Hyde, was now appearing incognito, and looked a good deal like a kindly old gentleman who had just fulfilled his lifetime ambition to lace the world’s bedtime cocoa with arsenic.

“Look at those blue eyes!” said Grandpa with revulsion to Igor. “They’re enough to thaw the blood. I tell you, we’re in trouble!”

“Eeeeeek!” squeaked Igor.

“Quiet!” snarled Grandpa. “Or I’ll send you back to your cave.”

“Sqeeeee!” responded Igor.

In his upstairs bedroom, Eddie, son of Herman and Lily, stared out through a crack in the windowpane. Eddie had inherited his mother’s and father’s best features. Yet he was a personality in his own right, as shown by his satyr-like ears, a special distinction that neither Herman nor Lily could claim.

Eddie spoke in a trembling murmur to his hound, Spot, who, if it had not been for the wolf-shaped dark shadow against one wall, would have appeared to have been absent.

“Ten fingers and ten toes!” gasped Eddie. “He must have had the others removed just so he could go around scaring little kids!”

A blood-chilling howl filled the room. It was followed by a growl that was undoubtedly a question.

“Not yet,” replied Eddie. “But if he makes the wrong move – sic ‘im!”

Peering out from behind a parlor drape was Marilyn Munster, Herman and Lily Munster’s niece. Marilyn viewed the stranger with sympathy. She was cursed with the same affliction – rosy cheeks, bright sparkling eyes, slender construction, an absence of blemishes, ten fingers and ten toes, and warm blood. How Marilyn wished that she could be normal like her aunt and uncle and Eddie and Grandpa! And such was the size of Marilyn’s heart that she included this evil-appearing intruder in her wish.

The stranger standing at the curb studied the Munster home with irritation, unaware that he was being viewed with foreboding from inside.

He was a tall, slender, blue-eyed, ten-fingered and ten-toed, warm-blooded young man, clearly a native of Southern California (Hollywood Division), since he was garbed in a rainbow-hued Hawaiian shirt, riding breeches and beach sandals, topped off with an Alpine beanie.

The really odd thing about him was that he was regarding the Munster home with irritation rather than outright horror, as was usually the case.

The house was a replica of a Victorian mansion, conjuring up images of fog-shrouded moors and mournfully wailing night winds. Its thick-draped, arched windows, its massive structure, the fingerlike spires – all these helped to complete the image. One could imagine – or was it imagination? – a continuous stream of ghostly moanings and clankings emanating  from within its dismal interior.

In other words, all in all, the Munster home looked to the stranger like a set for a Hollywood monster picture. And, believing it to be that, with light step and easy mind, he approached the entrance.

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Excerpt from “Hell West and Crooked” by Tom Cole ~~Thirst~~

picture-HellWestAndCrooked-ColeI remembered a man named Foley who, because of his vocal powers, was known as Foghorn Foley. After a severe drinking bout at a race meeting of several days’ duration he went out to get his horses together. Over the three-day meeting they had wandered a bit further than usual. It would appear he had found some of them and rode out in search of the rest.

At the time he would have undoubtedly have been suffering from the effects of three days’ concentrated boozing, an occupation at which he was no mean exponent. He was in an area where it was almost an impossibility to get lost and was riding a horse that knew exactly where the nearest water was: a triangle formed by the Behn River, Stockade Creek and a road. He was familiar with both watercourses and the road, there were waterholes in both creeks (some of them never went dry). The furthest he could have got from water was no more than twenty-five miles.

Almost an impossibility to get lost. Almost. After his drinking session he would dehydrate very quickly, much quicker than normally, but even without the effects of his unrestrained carousing it is unlikely he would have survived. Probably the remarkable part is that he survived as long as he did.

He rode round for at least a day, perhaps longer; his tracks indicated that he travelled in a big circle and at one point was no more than five miles from a waterhole on Stockade Creek. One wonders how the unfortunate horse was feeling at that point.

I didn’t hear much of the details leading up to the finding of the body, but assumed someone had come along, noticed the camp and read the signs – not too difficult. If a bushman came to a camp that was deserted and there could be some doubt as to a man’s safety, he would take steps to ensure he was not in difficulties.

Foley’s tracks were followed without much difficulty; he was found no more than twenty miles from water, lying at the foot of a tree. His horse had died, too. It still had the saddle on, was hobbled and hitched to the tree under which he lay.

Had it been allowed, the horse would have taken him to water as straight as an arrow. Being bred and born in the bush doesn’t make a bushman. There is a sense some have; tragically, some think they have it and don’t. In addition to this indefinable sense the back up of common sense is necessary – and also sometimes sadly lacking.

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Excerpt from “Letters of the Great Artists” by Richard Friedenthal ~~Corot – Landscape~~

CAMILLE COROT DESCRIBES THE BEGINNING OF A LANDSCAPE PAINTER’S DAY

Gruyères, 1857

You know, a landscape painter’s day is delightful. You get up early, at three o’clock in the morning, before sunrise; you go and sit under a tree; you watch and wait. At first there is nothing much to be seen. Nature looks like a whitish canvas with a few broad outlines faintly sketched in; all is misty, everything quivers in the cool dawn breeze. The sky lights up. The sun has not yet burst through the gauze veil that hides the meadow, the little valley, the hills on the horizon. The nocturnal vapours are still creeping in silvery flakes over the frozen green of the grass. Ah! a first ray of sunshine! The tiny flowers seem to wake up happily. Each has its tremulous dewdrop. The leaves shiver with cold in the morning breeze. Invisible birds are singing beneath the leaves. It seems as though the flowers were saying their prayers. Little butterfly-winged cupids frolic over the meadow, making the tall grass ripple. One sees nothing. Everything is there! The whole landscape lies behind the transparent gauze of the fog that now rises, reveals the silver-spangled river, the fields, the trees, the cottages, the further scene. At last one can discern all that one could only guess at before.

The sun is up! There is a peasant at the end of the field, with his waggon drawn by a yoke of oxen. You can hear the little bell round the neck of the ram, the leader of the flock. Everything is bursting into life, sparkling in the full light – light which as yet is still soft and golden. The background, simple in line and harmonious in colour, melts into the infinite expanse of sky, through the bluish, misty atmosphere. The flowers raise their heads, the birds flutter hither and thither. A countryman on a white horse rides away down the steep-banked lane. The little rounded willows on the bank of the stream look like birds spreading their tails. It’s adorable! and one paints! and paints! . . .

This little piece was jotted down while Corot was staying in Switzerland with his friend Daniel Bovy at the Château de Gruyères in 1857. Corot was sixty years old. Beginning as a traditional landscape painter, he had evolved by the 1850’s a purely personal landscape style, poetic but at the same time based on close observation of nature. Simple and generous by nature, he painted for the sheer joy of it.

Une Matinée. La danse des nymphes

Une Matinée. La danse des nymphes

 

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